Kupando Raises €13 Million in Series A Funding Round

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  • Funding led by Remiges Ventures, co-led by LifeCare Partners, with additional investments from Brandenburg Kapital, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Ventura Biomed Investors and unnamed family offices.
  • Proceeds will be used to complete IND enabling work and initiate clinical development.

SCHÖNEFELD/BERLIN, Germany, September 26, 2022 / B3C Newswire / — Kupando, a pioneering biopharmaceutical company developing TLR 4/7 agonists that stimulate innate immunity for use in oncology and infectious diseases, today announces the completion of its Series A funding round, which has raised €13 million.

The funds will be used to complete IND enablement work and initiate clinical development of Kupando’s lead candidate KUP101 in a solid tumor indication. KUP101 is the only TLR 4/7 agonist in development and consists of two small molecules, a TLR 4 agonist and a TLR 7 agonist, co-encapsulated in a liposomal formulation. The compounds induce a broad immune response, which will facilitate their development as an antitumor agent, as a standalone product in combination with other antitumor modalities, or as a prophylactic vaccine against infectious diseases. The induction of cross-reactive antibodies and a broad cellular response are promising features for a broad portfolio of indications, especially where different strains and antigens such as influenza, HPV and others are involved. A high target specificity in the absence of relevant off-targets are indicators of a promising safety profile.

The investment was led by Remiges Ventures and led by LifeCare Partners with additional investment from Brandenburg Kapital, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Ventura Biomed Investors and unnamed family offices.

Kazuhiko Nonomura, PhD Principal at Remiges Ventures, the lead investor, said: “We are impressed by the tremendous progress Kupando has made since its inception. Kupando is a true pioneer in the development of a novel innate immunity stimulator and we look forward to collaborating with the team and supporting the progression of KUP101 into clinical development.”

Pierre Morgon, PharmD, LL.M, MBA, Chairman at Kupando commented: “We welcome all of our new investors to this round. We thank them for their confidence in this truly disruptive approach, which has the potential to provide new therapeutic and prophylactic options in the areas of oncology and infectious diseases. We believe the highly experienced management team will enable the company to move through this next phase of development.”

Johanna Holldack, CEO at Kupando added: “Having new investors join us is a great endorsement of our corporate strategy and pioneering approach, and we look forward to their support to advance our lead candidate toward clinical development. It’s really exciting to now have the opportunity to develop compounds that can make a difference in the treatment of solid tumors and the prevention of infectious diseases in terms of efficacy, safety and affordability.

Kupando’s Board of Directors consists of Pierre Morgon, PharmD, LL.M, MBA, as Chairman and Wolfram Nothaft, MD, as Vice Chairman, as well as three board members: Kazuhiko Nonomura, PhD (representing Remiges Ventures), Gerhard Ries, PhD (representing from LifeCare Partners) and Thomas Krause (representative of Brandenburg Kapital).

About Kupando
Kupando is a pioneering biopharmaceutical company developing TLR 4/7 agonists that stimulate innate immunity for use in oncology and infectious diseases.
The Company is using its small molecule drug candidates to build a pipeline across multiple indications, internally or through strategic partnerships, as a single agent or in combination with checkpoint inhibitors, other drugs or antigens. Its drug candidate KUP101 is the only TLR 4/7 agonist in development and consists of two small molecules, the TLR4 agonist and the TLR7 agonist, encapsulated together. IND-enabling work on solid tumor treatment and infectious disease prophylaxis is underway.
Kupando is a private company with seed capital funded by its CEO Johanna Holldack and based on technology invented by Dennis Carson’s Laboratory at the University of California San Diego.
The Company’s management team brings a unique wealth of business and drug development experience gained in the US and Europe.
Kupando is headquartered in Schönefeld, Germany.

About Remiges Ventures
Based in Seattle and Tokyo, Remiges Ventures is a US-Japan cross-border venture capital firm focused on therapeutics. Remiges Ventures is a leader in syndicating Series A and later stage investment rounds worldwide and actively creates new companies based on innovative assets discovered at academic institutions. The Remiges Ventures team is connected to serial entrepreneurs, KOLs in various therapeutic areas, key advisors and major big pharma companies around the world. The team actively participates in the value creation of its portfolio companies.

About LifeCare Partners
LifeCare Partners is an independent investment advisory firm that provides financing to private and public life science companies. LifeCare Partners serves the entire life sciences industry with a particular focus on medical devices, diagnostics, biopharmaceuticals, food and nutrition, industrial biotechnology, biomaterials, e-health and bioenergy. The Basel-based LifeCare Partners team has successfully invested in more than 50 life science companies over the past few years, many of which have already been publicly listed or acquired by leading players in the life science industry.

About Brandenburg Capital/ILB
Brandenburg Kapital GmbH is a subsidiary of the Brandenburg State Investment Bank (ILB). As the venture capital arm of the ILB, it has been supporting Brandenburg companies since 1993 in acquiring equity and equity-like investments. As a public investment company, experienced lead investor and active partner, Brandenburg Kapital ensures a strong equity base for start-ups and small and medium-sized companies in the state of Brandenburg on the basis of a stable group environment. The early-stage and growth fund is currently available for this with around 100 million euros. The funds for the Brandenburg Capital Fund, which was set up on behalf of the Brandenburg Ministry of Economic Affairs, are currently being provided by the European Fund for Regional Development and the ILB. Through the investment activities of the ILB, 244 companies have been supported on their growth course with around 275 million euros. In addition, private investors have so far invested more than 600 million euros in the company.

About the High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, technology-driven start-ups. With a total investment volume of around 900 million euros in three funds and an international partner network, the HTGF has already co-founded more than 670 start-ups since 2005. With the start of the HTGF IV, there will be more than 400 million euros in fund volume added in autumn 2022. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, their team of experienced investment managers and startup experts help to develop young companies. The focus of the HTGF is on high-tech start-ups in the areas of digital tech, industrial technology, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas. So far, external investors have pumped more than 4 billion euros into the HTGF portfolio through more than 1,900 follow-up financing rounds. In addition, the HTGF has successfully sold investments in more than 160 companies. Fund investors in the public-private partnership are the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, KfW Capital, the Fraunhofer Society and many companies from a wide variety of sectors.

About Ventura Biomed Investors
Ventura BioMed Investors invests in early-stage life science companies developing breakthrough technologies and innovative therapies. As a serial entrepreneur with many years of experience, we help shape the long-term development of our portfolio companies and give them access to our broad investor and business network. Ventura supports exceptional entrepreneurs in their vision to accelerate medical breakthroughs that solve unmet patient needs.


Johanna Holdack, MD
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Keywords: people; equity financing; Biologic products; toll-like receptor 7; toll-like receptor 4; immunity, innate; vaccinations; communicable diseases; neoplasms; Germany

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